Monday, February 11

My Frugal Miser - January Expenses: $12,996


January was another fairly expensive month.

I have switched from Quicken to a customized spreadsheet to manage my finances.  As part of that transition I have consolidated some categories.  I am also now reporting business expenses.  Previously I did not include rental property expenses. It's all designed to simplify managing my money.

  • We spent a week in Birmingham working on the empty townhouse.  I had to replace the cabinets and countertops, which was a $6,000 expense.
  • Food spending was high. We ate out every day while we were in Birmingham.  We eat restaurant food way too much.
  • I switched from an ACA health plan to one called Liberty Healthshare.  The monthly premiums are higher but overall it should lower my health expense.

January Expenses:  $12,996

$209 Auto (service, gas, insurance, AAA, etc.)
$0 Bank Fees
$47 Clothing/ Personal Care
$15 Fun (vacations movies, gambling, alcohol, concert tickets) 
$583 Food
$0 Gifts Given
$1,331 Household/Mortgage Payment/Home Repair
$0 Investment Expense
$77 Interest Expense*
$0 Miscellaneous
$0 Taxes (Quarterly Tax Payment)
$0 App Jobs Expenses (tolls, car washes, etc.)
$101 Unreimbursed Employee Expenses
$110 Utilities
$8,343 Rental Property Expenses

*Interest expense includes student loans.  As the rate is below 2%, I am completely comfortable paying the interest each month and investing the money that I would otherwise use to pay off this loan.  

Friday, February 8

My Frugal Miser - January Income: $14,389


My income in January was good.
  • Meeting season has begun.  More of my work was working meetings, but I still managed to deliver some for Amazon.  
  • One rental property is vacant; everything else is occupied with rent paid.  I m now including homes owned through my retirement accounts.
  • AirBnB was solid once again.
  • My investment account was way down.  My Sears put options lost a significant amount.  I had to close them out but still made a tiny profit.

January Income: $14,389

($21) Mystery Shopping
$1,425 Meeting Jobs
$27 Gig Apps (Uber, Lyft, Postmates, Doordash)
$868 Amazon Deliveries
$9,716 Rental Income
$2,150 AirBnB Income
$28 Interest Income
$197 Other Sources

Investment Accounts Change in Value (Excludes IRAs):  -$10,025



Sunday, January 13

AirBnB December Performance

AirBnB - December 2018


In our fourth month operating an AirBnB home we were cash-flow positive (that's two months in a row!)  Nightly rates are improving.  I was successful at filling a few vacant days by tinkering with rates.  Often if we are in-town and have a vacancy, I will lower rates as the vacant day approaches to try to get the house booked.  For example, I had a 3 day gap in mid-December.  Rates started at $79, which I gradually lowered until I picked up a booking at $49/night for two of those nights.  With the cleaning fee, that booking earned us $165 that we otherwise would have missed out on.

Financial Performance

Occupancy Rate:  90% (3 days unbooked)
Payments Received:  $2,886
Expenses:  $399

Net Income:  $2,487

Friday, January 11

My Frugal Miser - December Expenses: $7,294


December was another fairly expensive month.  Fortunately, I'm mostly finished furnishing our new house.  That was a major expense for 2018.
  • I had new brakes installed on my car; I also spent a lot on gas with all the Amazon deliveries I made.  Good thing gas prices are super low.
  • Food spending was high.  We had family visit for Christmas so this category includes spending for several additional people.
  • I had to replace a broken crown - over $800 after insurance.  Dental care can be expensive!

December Expenses:  $7,294

$434 Auto (service, gas, insurance, AAA, etc.)
$86 Bank Fees
$0 Charity
$0 Clothing
$0 Computer
$530 Entertainment (movies, gambling, alcohol, concert tickets) 
$769 Food
$319 Gifts Given
$1,843 Household/Mortgage Payment/Home Repair
$153 Health and Dental Insurance
$0 Investment Expense
$11 Interest Expense*
$808 Medical/Dental
$0 Miscellaneous
$9 Personal Care
$0 Subscriptions
$1,819 Taxes (Quarterly Tax Payment)
$31 App Jobs Expenses (tolls, car washes, etc.)
$0 Unreimbursed Employee Expenses
$390 Utilities
$94 Vacation

*Interest expense includes student loans.  As the rate is below 2%, I am completely comfortable paying the interest each month and investing the money that I would otherwise use to pay off this loan.